This is a repository of selected Afghanistan products, mainly focused on working within the system of culture, Pashtunwali and village networks to build trust and relationships, in ways that are (well, most likely but certainly never guaranteed) to work in spite of-rather than because of-the Afghan government and corrupt burocracies in place.
This has become more essential than ever in light of several critical factors, chiefly the COIN environment, the need to ‘drive a wedge’ between villages and insurgents, the need for sustainable models of ground-up village empowerment, the need for economic micro-development in a sincere way that allows for trust and healthy relations with a village.
In short, the top-down model of economic and social development has proved extremely problematic, lending itself to high degrees of corruption, opportunism, and failure. The emerging trend, supported by the spectrum of analysis and experience, is empowering villages and communities from the ground up. This ground-up approach has become a center of gravity in winning over the AO for both ground commanders and international aid groups.
It is also a center of gravity for global investors, and the investment dollars needed by the Afghan people and Afghan economy.
In addition, the vast abundance of natural resources such as minerals makes Afghanistan a potentially strong and profitable global investment opportunity. Corruption, insecurity and uncertainty-along with the difficulty of building genuine trust and relationships with villages on the ground-makes this investment opportunity a wasted one, with both venture capitalists and the Afghan people living and working near these natural resources losing out as a result.